Feminists are halfway to pro-life in validating a woman’s grief after miscarriage
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March 26, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Every so often, a prominent person comes forward to share her story of miscarriage and the pain of losing a pre-born child. On July 20, 2019, Meghan McCain shared her grief in a New York Times editorial titled “What I learned from my miscarriage.” (Her husband, Ben Domenech, explored the loss in an extraordinary podcast episode A Year of Dying Gracefully.) The following year, Meghan Markle revealed that she and her husband had suffered the loss of their second child through miscarriage in a New York Times editorial titled “The losses we share.”
Each time this happens, feminists ask why it is that our society is so bad at recognizing the pain people suffer when they lose pre-born children. Commentators and pundits solemnly pretend that we don’t know the very obvious answer to this. If abortion, the destruction of a child in the womb, is a celebrated right, how can we validate the grief of women who lose children at the same stage at which millions are being aborted? If abortion activists are right, a miscarriage is simply a woman passing a clump of cells. If abortion activists are wrong, she has lost a child. Both cannot be true at the same time.
And so the news that New Zealand’s parliament has unanimously passed legislation giving the parents of children who pass away by miscarriage the right to paid leave—a bereavement allowance—is both encouraging news and sadly ironic. The bill was initiated by Labour Party MP Ginny Anderson, who stated that “The passing of this bill shows that once again New Zealand is leading the way for progressive and compassionate legislation, becoming only the second country in the world to provide leave for miscarriage and stillbirth. The bill will give women and their partners time to come to terms with their loss without having to tap into sick leave. Because their grief is not a sickness, it is a loss. And loss takes time."
New Zealand’s Labour government is led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who raked in progressive accolades last year for scrapping plans to hold a referendum on the decriminalization of abortion and instead removing abortion from the 1961 Crimes Act on a parliamentary vote. Under the new regime, women are able to abort their pre-born children up to twenty weeks with no questions asked, with the approval of a doctor being required to abort a baby after twenty weeks. According to New Zealand’s feminist government, the world works like this: If you choose to grieve your baby, it was a baby, and society grieves with you. If you choose an abortion, it wasn’t a baby, and society applauds you.
People instinctively recognize this schizophrenia, and it was one of the primary reasons our discussions around miscarriage are so stunted. Perhaps we will soon see in New Zealand what we saw recently in the Netherlands. In 2019, the Dutch government changed the law to permit people to officially register their stillborn children as legal persons in response to a petition signed by 82,000 people who wished to see their sons and daughters who died before birth to be recognized as people of value. These children are, once registered, legal persons under the law. What the government did not expect was a woman who deeply regretted her abortion to register her aborted child as a legal person, raising deeply uncomfortable questions.
Perhaps women in New Zealand will now begin taking bereavement leave after having abortions, with the government both championing their feticide and giving them paid time off to mourn their butchered fetus. Or may be we can have a discussion about the elephant in the room when miscarriage is discussed: Abortion.